The next adventure is afoot!
In a couple of days I’ll be jumping on a plane to the Balearic Island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean to hike the GR221 Drystone route up the crest of the Taramuntana Mountains. After a quick visit to Barcelona, another plane will bring me to Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. Over the next few weeks I plan to follow my heart, exploring by ferry and foot the Hawaii of the Atlantic. This will probably include backpacking all, some, or most of the trans-island GR131 on Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma, and Gran Canaria in addition to circumnavigating La Gomera on the GR132. That’s the tentative plan at least. I have the maps and wise words of other travellers, but this journey will be my own. I humbly enter nature’s arena, open to whatever may be.
The spring weather should be fine. The terrain varied and stunning. If I manage to dodge the beer binging tourists, there will be more hiking than I have days for. I’m excited to get some miles on these legs again. Ready to earn my sock tan.
Daily posts will show up here sometime. My current location will be trackable on the Where Am I? page.
I hope you have adventures of your own on the horizon. May the people you meet and the things you find lead to many more. Happy spring. Happy trails.
4 thoughts on “Coming up: Spanish Islands”
What sort of research did you do to prepare for these trips? How will you be handling resupplies? Excited to hear that you’re going to be on the trail once more!
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Good questions! I haven’t thought about this trip since planning it a couple months ago so I have forgotten most of the logistical details. I’m kind of just trusting that I planned well and everything will work out.
There isn’t too much online about these hikes, especially the GR132. But, as I recall, Cicerone Guides has some good trip reports on the GR221 and GR131 on their website. That’s where I got the idea in the first place. I purchased their guidebook for the GR221 on Mallorca because it contains really detailed topo maps included that would have been expensive to buy alone, plus it gives all that sweet guidebook insight. While Cicerone publishes guidebooks for the Canary Islands as well, they are limited to a single island per book for some crazy reason. No way I’m carrying(or paying for) that much paper, especially when the first half of each book is exactly the same as the others. There is also no special consideration for the GR131 or GR132 with the books presenting a number of day hikes on each island. Not what I’m looking for. And the maps are totally inadequate.
The maps I will bring are pictured above and are(hopefully) pretty great. The ‘Super-Durable’ maps look awesome and seem to be the standard for English speakers. I bought the Kompass map for Tenerife because the ‘Super-Durable’ map inexplicably omits some middle portions of the island that I plan on hiking through. Also, the free-flowing nature of my time on the Canary Islands means that I don’t need a guidebook to dictate my schedule. I’ll hike where I want, when I want. I also have a Mallorca Topo Map and Gaia map apps on my phone as backup.
In addition, WalkingWomad has a good, informative blog post about hiking the GR132 on La Gomera and a little bit on Tenerife. That’s where I first heard about the GR132, which is really what sold me on the Canary Islands as a worthy hiking destination. I probably wouldn’t be going without her recommendation.
On-trail logistics such as resupplying should be pretty darn easy as these things go. It seems I’ll be hitting at least one, and maybe more, small towns a day. There are some remote areas on the Canaries, but we’re still only talking about 2-ish days between grocery stores. Water should be the bigger issue, with limited natural sources. Still, I’m not too worried about it and will have flexible carrying capacity if I see a long dry stretch coming up. As far as moving between the islands, ferries are frequent and plentiful. Hopefully cheap too. I hear hitchhiking is easy, but I expect to be doing most of my moving by foot.
There’s probably some other stuff too, and I’m sure there will be hiccups, but that’s what a credit card is for 🙂 These islands are popular. Not for backpacking, but for beach-bumming tourists, so there should be plenty of amenities. Like hiking in the Alps, a coffee and croissant should never be too far away.
man you must be kidding. To hike and mountain-bike Tenerife and Las Palmas are my dreams equally as great as PCT and CDT. They dont have grizzlies and other predators. No poisonous snakes (as far as know). No avalanches and winter off-seasons. Lightning strikes are not so prevalent. It is mild warm climate roughly between 70 F and 90 F all year round. It is quite cheap compared to the rest of the EU (actually much cheaper), So… Volcanic islands )) Each island is so unique as if it is not even withing the same climate zone. It is all upsides.. of course there are downsides.. but. Permissions are free at least on Tenerife as far as I know you just have to show up in person if you want to camp. You can go around the whole island in one week and a half walking in a relaxed way as there is no time-frame whatsoever. ))
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Oh man, the Canaries are amazing. You right about all of those things. I was majorly bummed that my injured foot kept me from properly hiking on Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, and La Gomera, but I had a great time road-tripping anyway. An amazing part of the world and I can’t wait to go back to hit the trail. That mojo rojo sauce, freaking awesome!